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I'm your host Dana Blair and it's now time for our Black Girl Magic moment of the week. And is there any question who this week's salute goes to? Of course, it's our very new Miss USA Miss DeShawna Barber, who not only won the crown but also has quite the resume. At just 26 years old she is a first lieutenant in the US army Army and also works full time as an IT analyst for the Department of Commerce. The new Ms. USA says she hopes to use her position to help veterans. Congratulations Deshauna. Remember you can watch Essence's original Black Girl Magic documentaries at Essence.com/black-girl-magic

This article originally appeared on PEOPLE

A new Miss USA has been crowned!

Kara McCullough, 25, from the District of Columbia, took home the coveted title on Sunday night during the live competition in Las Vegas.

McCullough was named the winner over first runner-up Miss New Jersey, Chhavi Verg, and second runner-up Miss Minnesota, Meridith Gould.

McCullough is a nuclear scientist at the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Her win gives the District of Columbia back-to-back victories in the competition, after Deshauna Barber took home the crown last year.

Barber came out to crown McCullough, and gave a tribute to her mom during the Mother’s Day broadcast, who passed away from lung cancer three months into her reign as Miss USA. Barber wore her hair in its natural state in honor of her mom.

During the questions portion of the competition, McCullough was asked if affordable healthcare is a right or a privilege. She responded that healthcare should only go to those with jobs, and one of the country’s goals should be to create more jobs so more people have healthcare.

Twitter was divided over her response.






All three finalists were also asked about their definition of feminism, and if they consider themselves a feminist. McCullough said she prefers not to use the word “feminist,” and instead “transferred the word feminist to equalism.”

“I don’t want to call myself a feminist,” McCullough said. “Women, we are just as equal as men, especially in the workplace.”





The two-hour broadcast included musical performances by Pitbull and Brett Eldredge, as well as a performance of Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson ONE” show.

Julianne Hough and Terrence J returned as hosts of the competition, and Ashley Graham reprised her role as Miss USA’s backstage host.

This year’s judges included Halima Aden, the first woman to compete in a Miss USA state pageant wearing a hijab and burkini; TV personality Carson Kressley; former Miss USA and Miss Universe Brook Lee; Nancy Lubin, founder of Dress for Success; style expert Jeannie Mai; and bestselling author Janet Mock.

Fans were invited to vote for their favorite contestants throughout the competition.

McCullough will go on to compete in Miss Universe next year.

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